Co-driver to undergo intensive training programme in preparation for final round of the 2014 FIA World Rally ChampionshipHusband Mark Cavendish ‘150 per cent jealous’!Following in the wheel-tracks of ‘golden girl’ Amy Williams
Peta Todd is not one to shirk a challenge. The Help for Heroes patron and former glamour model, from Essex, now faces one of her toughest ever tests – she has just six short weeks to gain enough experience to compete against the world's best drivers and teams at Wales Rally GB, Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Peta faces a race against time to gain the skills required to qualify for her International co-driver licence, enabling her to compete at the highest level, co-driving alongside Sky Sports News’ F1 analyst, Tony Jardine.
The hard work begins tomorrow, Saturday 27 September, when the duo take on the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire in a high powered rally car – the first of three events that Peta will need to complete in order to qualify for Wales Rally GB.
Peta is fully prepared for the challenge ahead: “I’m so excited about this – not many people get the opportunity to compete in an event like Wales Rally GB. It is one of the biggest motor sport events in the world and I cannot wait to jump into the co-driver seat alongside Tony. I’ve got a huge amount to learn in a very short space of time, but we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.
“My husband, Mark [Cavendish], is the international sportsperson in the house, so I’m determined to finish Wales Rally GB and add my own World Championship trophy to the mantelpiece. I’m 100 per cent committed to this. Amusingly, Mark is 150 per cent jealous! He has already tried to push me out of the seat and take my place!”
The ‘Rally of Legends’ is no small challenge, even for the most experienced of co-drivers. Jardine, who has competed in international rallies around the world including Sweden, Kuwait, and an impressive class victory in the 2013 Wales Rally GB has no doubt about how much of a challenge this will be for Peta: “This is arguably the toughest forest event on the WRC calendar. It features loose gravel and mud as well as mist, fog and potentially even ice. Only the best teams have won in the entrancing yet deceptive Welsh forests.
“Peta is up for the challenge. She is an adventurer and she is notgoing to shy away from it. But this is bigger than any climb up Kilimanjaro; this is the steep face of the Eiger. In six short weeks, and under a lot of pressure, she is going to have to learn to become an international rally navigator. If she qualifies, we are then going up against the world’s best and her mettle will be severely tested. But I am looking forward to working with her because I think she has got the right qualities and the challenge begins this weekend with our first event together, the Trackrod Rally”
Though an amateur, Jardine is a regular on Wales Rally GB and has been co-driven by a number of notable journalists and personalities in recent years. Last year he was joined in the hot seats by Winter Olympic athlete Amy Williams and they finished a fine 26th overall.
"Wales Rally GB wouldn't be Wales Rally GB without an entry from Tony Jardine, so we are delighted that's he's worked his magic again and come up with another notable co-driver to join him on the event,” said Ben Taylor, Wales Rally GB Managing Director. “He teamed up with Amy 12 months ago and produced a terrific class winning result as well as generating some great publicity along the way. That may be tough to replicate in 2014 but I'm sure Tony and Peta will be doing very their best to produce another notable performance."
Tickets for those wanting to see Peta pitting her skills against the world’s top rally drivers are available via the official website at www.walesrallygb.com or via the ticket hotline on 0844 847 2251. Forest Passes are available at 2013 prices as are tickets for the two enhanced RallyFest Stages at Chirk Castle and Kinmel Park, which must be purchased in advance.